NBC is touting a strong opening night for Megyn Kelly's news magazine, but it's too soon to claim victory, especially since the debut of "Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly" went up against a repeat of CBS's "60 Minutes."
While Kelly's unveiling on NBC, which included a sit-down interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, did manage to edge out "60 Minutes" in the demographic important to advertisers, it fell short when it came to total viewers.
"Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly" averaged 6.1 million viewers and a 1.2 rating in the 25-to-54 demo, compared with 6.6 million viewers and a 0.9 rating for "60 Minutes." Last night CBS re-ran a "60 Minutes" episode that included an interview with Vladimir Kata-Murza, a Russian activist who says he was poisoned by the government. This season, "60 Minutes" averaged 12.4 million viewers on any given week.
Kelly was also up against a Jimmy Kimmel NBA special on ABC that averaged 8.2 million viewers and a 3.0 rating in the 25-to-54 demo.
NBC has been heavily promoting Kelly's addition to the news division. Aside from anchoring the Sunday evening program, Kelly will also host a 9 a.m. morning show this fall that will go head-to-head with ABC's "Live with Kelly and Ryan" in many markets. As first reported in Variety, NBC is seeking increases in the cost to reach 1,000 viewers as high as 30% for the 9 a.m. timeslot.